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Surrey UK Confirm Extra 6000 Premises to Benefit from Superfast Broadband

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 (7:42 am) - Score 638
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The Superfast Surrey project in England has revealed that an additional 6,000 homes and businesses in the region are next in line to gain access to an FTTC/P based “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) network from Openreach (BT), which will take place over the next two years.

At present Surrey is already one of the best connected counties in the United Kingdom, with over 96% coverage of “superfast broadband” and a nearly universal “fibre broadband” footprint (including sub-24Mbps areas) of around 99%. Overall an additional 86,000+ premises across Surrey have already been covered by the state aid supported deployment with BT.

However a recent Open Market Review (OMR) revealed that over 15,300 premises were still stuck in the slow lane (here). In December 2016 the local authority proposed (here) that a significant proportion of these could be upgraded by reinvesting the £3.8m of public money that BT is required to return due to high take-up of related services (gainshare / clawback).

The good news is that progress has been made and we now know that 6,000 of the remaining premises will be upgraded via gainshare funding.

Superfast Surrey Statement

In December 2016, the County Council cabinet agreed to invest Gainshare funding that had been generated by the Superfast Surrey programme’s contract into extending fibre broadband infrastructure to as many premises that were not included in any commercial rollout plans and were unable to access fibre download speeds of 15mbps or above.

BT have now identified nearly 6,000 additional premises that will benefit from fibre broadband download speeds of 24mbps or more over the next two years as part of the Gainshare deployment.

It’s worth pointing out that Surrey County Council is, not unlike other local authorities, under a lot of financial stress at the moment and some councillors haven’t been happy about more public money going towards broadband (here). As such it may be difficult for the council to go beyond today’s commitment, although even the Broadband Delivery UK programme expects to reach 97% of the UK by 2020 and Surrey will at least be one of the first to finish.

A list of all the postcodes that are included in the Gainshare deployment is already available, together with a related map. Otherwise the deployment stage is due to commence at the end of 2017 and this should then be complete by early 2019. Thanks to one of our readers (Tom) for spotting this.

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